Posted: Sat 12th Mar 2016

Sniffer dogs from Flint based company Wagtail UK help find two tonnes of illegal tobacco.

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Saturday, Mar 12th, 2016

Tobacco detection dogs from specialist Flint-based company Wagtail UK have helped trading standards officers from across Wales seize nearly 500,000 illegal cigarettes and two tones of tobacco.

Last July Operation Fetch saw Flintshire, Wrexham, Conwy and Denbingshire Trading Standards sieze 1.6 million illegal cigarettes and 700kg kilos of hand-rolling tobacco.

Minister for Health and Social Services Mark Drakeford said:

”I am very concerned about illegal tobacco because its affordability and availability threatens the health of children, making it so much easier for them to access tobacco. It also eliminates the price incentive for smokers to quit the habit.

“This is not a Robin Hood crime. It is criminality which deprives the public of vital revenue which is used to fund essential public and health services, including tackling the damaging impacts of tobacco itself but its effects extend far beyond that.

“We are determined to bear down on this illegal trade and safeguard public health. I would like to take this opportunity to commend all those involved with Operation Fetch and their endeavours to halt the trade in illegal tobacco.”

Matthew Cridland, the chair of the Wales Heads of Trading Standards, added:

“Figures show 15% of the tobacco consumed in Wales is illegal. That’s the equivalent of one million illegal cigarettes being smoked in Wales every day. The prevalence of illegal tobacco at this level presents a serious threat to health by undermining all of the controls designed to reduce consumption and prevent children from accessing tobacco.

“Because of this, tackling illicit tobacco is a key priority for Trading Standards in Wales. The results achieved in Operation Fetch are really encouraging and demonstrate the commitment of Trading Standards to this challenge.

“We want to work with all tobacco control partners to address not only supply but also demand for illegal tobacco and Trading Standards will continue to vigorously pursue all those who distribute and supply this product.

 

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